During this time of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, we at Cloud 9 Living want to encourage you to stay safe, stay healthy, and be mindful of the guidelines to help protect our collective well-being. At the same time, we also want to encourage you to make the most out of this period of relative isolation. There are still plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. In fact, exercise and time spent in nature are widely known to be good for a person’s mental, physical, and emotional health. So keep your distance from other people, but don’t be afraid to strike out on your own and explore, enjoy, and benefit from nature. 

You also don’t need to be afraid to plan ahead. With 25% off egift cards, you can save now and enjoy one of our top-rated outdoor adventures when things get a little better. One thing we’ve learned from our time in isolation is that it’s actually kind of great to spend time alone, focusing on the things that light you up and give life meaning. Here's a list of ten ways to enjoy the great outdoors solo to help you make the most of this time:

Stargazing – You might need to drive a little ways to get away from light pollution, but seeing a clear sky full of bright, shining stars is totally worth the effort. Pick a night when there are no clouds, head to the emptiest place you can find, and enjoy the view. Brush up on your constellation knowledge with an app like Star Rover.

Read a Book Outside – Like many people, you may be taking advantage of extra down time to read. Just a simple shift in location can make all the difference. Whether it’s your backyard or a solitary place out in the wider world, reading a book outside engages all of your senses and enhances the experience. Consider reading up on a favorite travel location, so that once you’re free to roam again you’ll be fully informed and ready to make the most of it.

Go For a Jog – When it comes to exercise, it doesn’t get much simpler than jogging. You don’t need a lot of gear, and the distance it takes you around your house is a welcome refreshment after lots of time spent indoors. If you’re new to the activity, take it easy at first; stretch thoroughly before and after, and stay hydrated.

Take a Scenic Drive – Most of the time you spend in your car is driving back and forth to work. How about a change of pace? Research the area where you live and find some scenic drives to try out. Listen to some favorite music and enjoy the freedom of the road. 

Post-Quarantine: Race on a professional course. This option isn’t so much about the scenery as it is the speed and pure adrenaline rush of getting behind the wheel of a powerful racing machine. 

Take a Nature Walk – Any kind of a walk is a great way to stretch your legs and relax your mind. A nature walk simply adds a component to your walk, giving it an additional purpose and opening your mind to new observations. Make a point of noticing the vegetation and animal life around you. Take pictures or notes and look up the things you don’t recognize. Bring a notepad and sketch the flowers, trees, birds, or animals that catch your eye. 

Try Bird-watching – Spring is the perfect time of year to start paying attention to the different types of birds that live in your area. You don’t need fancy equipment, either; start with the birds that are easily visible, and bring binoculars if you want to go to the next level. With a variety of free and paid apps readily available to keep you informed and help you score your sightings, a whole new world awaits!

Practice your golf swing – Your local golf course may or not be open, depending on where you live. Either way, golf lovers don’t need to despair. Use this time in your own backyard to work on your swing, and look forward to the impressive numbers you’ll hit when you’re allowed back on the green.

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Post-Quarantine: Buy a lesson from a pro! The surest way to advance your game, not to mention have a whole lot of fun in the process. 

Practice Photography – You have a smartphone with a nice built-in camera. Maybe you also have a camera like a DSLR that you’ve been intending to use more. Now is your chance! Get outside and start snapping pictures. Experiment with different filters and settings. Enjoy playing with all the options your camera provides and learn more about what it can do. The more familiar you are with the equipment, the better pictures you’ll take—both now and post-quarantine. 

Go For a Bike Ride – If your bike is collecting dust in the garage, now is a great time to break it out and go for a spin. No spandex necessary. Just use what you have and go with it. The pure and simple pleasure of pedaling will remind you of childhood adventures and inspire you to keep fit. 

Fly a Kite – Really. When was the last time you tried it? People have been flying kites for decades because it’s fun, and it’s a great way to enjoy being outside. Open spaces are ideal for kite flying, and also happen to be ideal for social distancing.